Unplugging the Grid: Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Battle Against Nuclear Power

Do you know where your electricity comes from? Currently about 20% of America’s electricity is generated through nuclear power.

But activists like Dr. Helen Caldicott say that percentage should be zero.

For decades, the Australian-born doctor, who founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, has been lobbying hard against nuclear power. And nuclear weapons, as well.

And she has been a strong advocate for environmental issues generally, and for women’s rights.

When I interviewed her in 2006, it was for her book Nuclear Power is Not The Answer.

So here now, from 2006, Dr Helen Caldicott.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is 85 now. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC named her one of the most influential women of the 20th century.0


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Revolutionizing Femininity: Germaine Greer’s Pioneering Ideas

In the early 1970s many women had two books on their shelves: The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan and The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer.

That was the then-31-year-old’s first book and virtually overnight turned her into an international celebrity A leader of the feminist movement

Her ideas about femininity, Male-female relationships, and marriage You find those things For millions of readers

In the years that followed Greer was a prolific writer of essays and books Many of those essays were collected in a 1987 volume which she entitled The Madwoman’s Underclothes. And that’s when I had a chance to spend a few minutes with this iconic figure.

So here now, from 1987, Germaine Greer

Today, January 29, is Germaine Greer’s 85th birthday. She divides her time between England and Australia .


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How Ann Coulter’s Demonic Theory Explains America’s Political Divide

It is no secret that America has become more politically divided than ever. And that in turn has raised so many questions about why we are so split.

Why do conservatives think the way they do? And why do liberals think the way they do?

A few years ago conservative commentator Ann Coulter thought she had the answer. She put her theory in a book called Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. The essence of her theory: Democrats and liberals are simply following a mob mentality.

As you listen to this interview, keep in mind this was years before Donald Trump and the MAGA movement.

So here now from 2011 Ann Coulter.

Ann Coulter will be celebrating her birthday this Friday. She’ll be 62.


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Life as Osama bin Laden’s Sister-in-Law Revealed

Married to the mob is one thing. Imagine what it would feel like if you married into a family whose name was linked to terrorism?

Swiss-born Carmen bin Ladin was once Osama bin Laden’s sister-in-law. Her marriage to Osama’s half brother Yeslam broke up several years ago and she had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks.

Her 2004 book Inside the Kingdom isn’t even about her notorious ex-brother-in-law. It reveals what goes on inside the strict Saudi culture that she and her daughters were part of.

Nevertheless, when I spoke with her she was candid about the family, the culture, and Osama.

So here now, from 2004, Carmen bin Ladin.

Carmen bin Ladin is now 69. Her divorce from Yeslam was finalized in 2006.


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From the White House to the Teenage House: Liz Carpenter’s Unplanned Parenthood

Jenkins Garrett with Liz Carpenter in UTA Library’s Special Collections, 1987

Imagine this scenario: you have lived a full life as a war correspondent, an aide to a president, a press secretary to a First Lady, and a leader in important social movements.

And just as you have retired to what should have been a comfortable life you are suddenly thrust into being a parent again.

That is what really happened to Liz Carpenter, once a key figure in the Lyndon Johnson administration in the 1960s.

But when her brother died in 1993, his three unruly teenagers came to live with Liz Carpenter. And she found herself, at age 73, a mother once again.

In her 1994 book Unplanned Parenthood Carpenter describes the unique challenges she faced. But she also had some wise and insightful thoughts about those Generation X people she was raising, and their peers.

So here now, from 1994, Liz Carpenter.

Liz Carpenter died in 2010. She was 89.


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Sister Souljah’s Tale of Urban Life

From her earliest days growing up in New York City and later in New Jersey, Sister Souljah was an activist.

Surrounded by the poverty and despair of an urban neighborhood, Sister Souljah made it her mission to try to change things.

She became a strong voice for change, through writing, film, and music.

In 1999,she wrote her first novel, a book called The Coldest Winter Ever. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1999. Sister Souljah.

Sister Souljah will be 60 next month.


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Wilma Mankiller: A Cherokee Chief’s Journey and Legacy

Wilma Mankiller’s journey into leadership in the Cherokee nation was not planned. She started as an advocate for rural development within her community, gradually rising through the ranks of Cherokee leadership.

In the 1980s she was the first woman elected to Principal Chief.

Her 1993 autobiography, Mankiller, gave her the opportunity to fill a void of knowledge about ANative American history and culture.

Her story, as she recountss in this interview, was not only one of personal resilience but also a testament to the strength of Native American communities.

So here now, from 1993, Wilman Mankiller.

Wilma Mankiller was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 2022 her likeness appeared on the quarter-dollar coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.

Mankiller died from pancreatic cancer in 2010. She was 64.


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Rosalynn Carter

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married in 1946. Both came from close knit families in which caring for the elderly was a responsibility taken seriously.

Both of the Carters devoted themselves to volunteer activities after leaving the White House. And Rosalynn took up the cause of supporting America’s caregivers, Who devoted their lives to helping the sick or elderly.

In 1994 Mrs. Carter wrote a book called Helping Yourself Help Others. And with both her and her husband in their twilight years, her words in this interview seem particularly poignant.

So here now, from 1994, Rosalynn Carter.

Rosalynn Carter. Is 96 now. Jimmy Carter will be 99 in a couple of weeks.


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Dorothy Height

Photo by Adrian Hood

A decades-long tradition continues this summer, with the 35th annual Black Family Reunion this month.

The event was started in 1989 by Dorothy Height, the longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women. It grew quickly, attracting millions across the country.

And from the reunions grew the Black Family Reunion Cookbook, first published in 1992.

But as you’ll hear in a moment, the cookbook was more than just a collection of recipes. It was an oral history of the African-American family.

So here now, from 1993, Dorothy Height.

Dorothy Height died in 2010. She was 98.


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Cathy Wilkerson

Photo by Thomas Good

The latter half of the 1960s was, to say the least, a turbulent time in America.

Anti war demonstrations were escalating, Civil rights and women’s rights movements were growing. As the government tried to control the chaos,it made many of its critics even more radical.

As the decade drew to a close violence and even bombings became It’s everyday occurrences .

One of those caught up in this maelstrom was the young Cathy Wilkerson. She joined the radical Weather Underground Organization sometimes known simply as Weatherman.

Wilkerson’s father owned a townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. She and other Weather underground members turned it into a bomb factory. On March 6, 1970, one of their bombs exploded in the basement, destroying the home and killing three people.

Wilkerson, and fellow Weatherman Kathy Boudin, escaped with their lives, and became fugitives from the FBI.

Wilkerson remained in hiding for a decade, before surrendering in 1980, and serving a few months in prison.

Ultimately she became a high school math teacher.

In 2007 she finally wrote her memoir, a book called Flying Close to The Sun. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 2007, Cathy Wilkerson.

Cathy Wilkerson is 78 now. She lives in New York.


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